Department of Social & Policy Sciences

New book - Social Sciences for an other politics: Women theorising without parachutes

Thu Feb 16 16:58:00 GMT 2017

'Social Sciences for an other politics: Women theorising without parachutes' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) edited by Ana C. Dinerstein is available to purchase as e-book and hard cover.

About the book

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Social Sciences for an other politics: Women theorising without parachutes (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)


This book addresses the current state of radical politics - the “other” politics. In the context of the extensive range of current and ongoing crises encompassing poverty and hunger; war and conflict leading to rape and death, it might be surprising to find that alternative political movements are mobilizing to create ‘utopia’ in a range of subtle forms. There has been a major shift in grassroots politics which shows that these movements are not only mobilizing against ineffectual policy, the failures of representative democracy and the alienating nature of the economy, but they are opening breathing spaces through which to conceive and organise social life in new and alternative ways. Indeed, a myriad of knowledges and practices are developing in urban and rural areas to bring these to fruition. While often based in traditions of resistance, people are mobilising with new approaches to cooperative production and consumption, self-management and communal property; non-representational politics and anti-oppressive education. The question is how to understand the significance of these new movements and forms of collective action.

The book opens a unique intellectual space where eleven female scholar-activists (Women on the Verge scholar activist group) working in Mexico, USA, Sweden, Australia, and the UK, explore alternative forms of theorising this social reality. In the introduction, Ana C. Dinerstein argues that a new radical subject is in the making which is plural, prefigurative, decolonial, ethical, ecological, communal and democratic. This radical subject is unrecognizable with old analytical tools so the book interrogates the concepts, methodologies and epistemologies that are able to grasp it.

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Lucia Linsalata, Ana C. Dinerstein, Emily Brissette, Raquel Gutiérrez, Sarah Amsler and Mina Trujillo, at the Residential IRFF Workshop 'The Politics of Possibility' Girton College, Cambridge University, 2016


The authors examine how the politics of possibility require the need to ‘learn hope’ (Sarah Amsler, Lincoln University, UK), ‘decolonise critique’ (Sara Motta, University of Newcastle, Australia) and ‘denaturalise society’ (Ana C. Dinerstein, University of Bath, UK). They also address the various dimensions of the social (re)production of life, including women in development (Suzanne Bergeron, University of Michigan Dearborn, USA), the commons as the political (Raquel Gutiérrez, Lucia Linsalata and Mina Lorena Trujillo, University of Puebla, Mexico), and the culture-nature paradigm (Francesca Zunino, Institute of Latin America Studies, London). Finally, they discuss the dynamics of prefiguration by social movements, critiquing social movement theory in the process (Emily Brissette, SUNY Oneonta, NY. Marina Sitrin (SUNY Delhi, New York, , Marianne Maeckelbergh)

Acclaim for the book

"This is a collection of edgy political theory so saturated with a feminist sensibility that has become unremarkable. And yet remarkable it surely is. The authors are leading the way by combining critical thinking, astute appreciation of what we have to work with, and creative imaginings. What they have produced is, by no means, just a stunt, it is shaping our future."

 - Excerpt from the foreword by Professor J.K. Gibson-Graham Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, co- founder of The Community Economies Research Network (CERN) and the Community Economies Collective (CEC), international collaborative networks of researchers who share an interest in theorizing, discussing, representing and ultimately enacting new visions of economy.

"This book brings together some of the most exciting social theorists writing, thinking and working today. It ventures beyond familiar accounts of contemporary challenges and opens important new ways of framing future trajectories for change. It should be read far and wide"

 - Professor Keri Facer, University of Bristol, AHRC Leadership Fellow for Connected Communities.